Today, the United Nations Foundation named A.C. Milan soccer player Keisuke Honda as a Global Advocate for Youth. The announcement was made at an event in Washington, D.C. honoring Honda for his philanthropic work focused on youth. In his role, Honda will focus on mobilizing action to address major challenges faced by young people around the world, and engaging youth in support of the vital work of the United Nations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
“Youth in every society have always been unique catalysts for change,” said Elizabeth Cousens, UN Foundation Deputy Chief Executive Officer. “They approach the future with an urgency and creativity we need to mobilize, and they understand the stakes. We are so excited to be working with Keisuke to help us build a new cadre of United Nations advocates and connect young people around the world in addressing some of the most important challenges of our time.”
As the global community works alongside the United Nations to implement the new Sustainable Development Goals, young people are key to successfully achieving the goals. Today’s youth generation is the largest in human history, with 1.2 billion aged 15-24 worldwide. During the timeframe the world works to achieve the global goals, that number will continue to grow, with nearly 2 billion more people projected to turn 15 years old by 2030. As Global Advocate for Youth, Honda will focus on mobilizing action to address some of the major challenges faced by young people globally— bringing awareness to the challenges that young people face and helping to ensure that the drive, ideas, and energy of young people are part of finding and implementing solutions.
“Soccer has given me the platform to reach and engage youth worldwide in a conversation that can help them shape their future. I am honored to be able to play my part in helping to tackle global issues and create a better world,” said Honda.
For the last decade Honda has dedicated his off season to holding global soccer camps and clinics for children in countries including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States. He donated a soccer facility to the city of Ishinomaki, Japan, which was devastated by the Fukushima earthquake in 2011.
Today’s announcement was made in Washington, D.C. to a packed room that included young soccer players from around the area.
About Keisuke Honda
Keisuke Honda is an entrepreneur and forward for professional Italian soccer club A.C. Milan. He started his professional soccer career in 2005 playing in Japan, and has played in the Netherlands, Russia and now Italy, wearing the coveted number 10 for A.C. Milan. He also represented Japan in both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and was the only Japanese player to record a goal in both tournaments. As an entrepreneur, Keisuke started his own management company, Honda Estilo, in 2007. The philosophy of the company is to provide hopes and dreams through sports. The company’s youth soccer program has now grown to over 60 schools and 3,500 students. In 2015, Honda also decided to acquire a professional soccer club in Austria to provide a direct path for the students to become a professional soccer players.
Philanthropically, Honda has dedicated his offseason to conducting soccer camps around the world in countries such as Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States. He also donated a soccer field to the city of Ishinomaki, which was devastated by the Fukushima earthquake. More recently, Honda also made a donation for those that were affected in the Kumamoto earthquake. His company will also hold a soccer tournament with all proceeds going to the relief efforts in Kumamoto.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org